Chandrasekhar Jayarama Krishnan
Head of Cricket – The CouchExpert
11 September, 2011
The Indian top order crumbled by the time ten overs were bowled in the day, with vice-captain Suresh Raina falling to a heinous shot which, given the situation, was way out of bounds. In an act that reacted to insistence on largely relevant public opinions, featuring MSD’s determination and Ravindra Jadeja’s place, the innings was laudably rebuilt on a weak foundation by the two.
There are many who’ve voiced their mistrust over Jadeja’s place in the squad. For the youngster to respond the way he did speaks a lot on his temperament, a trait that is worth its weight in gold. Sure, there are a few glitches already in his relatively short career so far, but even the best sportsmen have had their share of mistakes committed when young.
India, yet again, finds itself in a conspicuously difficult situation; even if it seems apparent that the previous ODI showcased their ability down the order. Ashwin, with his intelligent innings late in the game, surprised many with his cheeky approach.
The Englishmen, on the other hand, just do not seem to run out of fuel. Bopara, a player who has been under the scanner since his return, steered England to victory. Munaf’s bowling, with an economy rate that would have sent a shiver down one’s spine had it been recorded on a Ritcher Scale, did no favours to an already depleted Indian morale. RP Singh, thankfully, looked a much quicker (and fitter) bowler than the one witnessed at The Oval a few weeks ago.
But nothing seemed enough to stop the Kieswetter cannon ball from firing explosives to give England the start that they needed. A charge down the track against Praveen to heave the ball into the midwicket boundary was a shot that would have had the heads of NY Mets coaches turn towards the youngster. Bopara and Bresnan, towards the end, acted as able catalysts to help England add another win to their tally this series.
As the game moves in to the Lord’s, it is only memories from the past that would shed any light into India’s hopes. England will look to play an unchanged squad, whereas the Indians, hopefully, might consider handing Varun Aaron his debut. That he might be raw and inexperienced doesn’t matter, his very inclusion could see an increase in the number of viewers who would turn on their TV sets on Sunday.
This may tell us something about the state of Indian fans around the world: the romantics are a tiny minority, the ones with oil of vitriol up their opinion glasses are high in number, but there may not be enough to lend energy to effect a turnaround at Lord’s. Righteous contempt seems called for, but it is never within the Indian nature to do so. You just have to ask the cold-blooded criminals who’re yet to be tried by the government – they could narrate tales longer than Navjot Sidhu on how fortunate they are.
If the Indians have to do something, they’ll have to do it without an iota of sympathy from the enraged fan.